There have been some discouraging reports out of Homer regarding halibut fishing. That wasn't my experience recently. Here is my report.
I was in Homer for a business meeting the week of August 5-12. The weather on Monday, August 6 was quite windy. The wind was 40 knots straight out of the west. Nobody left port. On Tuesday, the wind died down but the water was still rough. Alot of boats stayed in port. The rest of the week was sunny, warm, and calm. It was perfect.
I went out with Big Bear Charters for halibut (no combos). The cap't took us to the backside of the Barren Islands. It was a three hour ride but it was very calm. Even Kennedy Entrance was flat. Not even any rollers. Plus the scenery was incredible. We anchored about a mile off the Barren Islands in 140 feet of water. We used herring and some salmon heads that I brought from fishing the Homer Spit fishing hole. The bite started almost immediately. We landed numerous halibut in the 20 to 40lb range. We caught and released most of them. After about an hour, the cap't moved the boat another mile offshore (dragging the anchor) to 170 feet of water, hoping to find bigger fish. The bite was considerably better, but no big halibut. Our largest was 75lbs and the smallest keeper was about 35lbs. My arms were exhausted from reeling more 30-35lb halibut than I cared to count. I would have prefered to land something bigger, but I took home two 40lbers.
The humpbacked whales were feeding all around the boat. I saw more whales on that trip than I've seen in my life. The seabirds were everywhere. It was a great trip. We pulled anchor around 2:00pm and got back to the dock around 5:00pm.
The coho salmon were late this year. I fished the Anchor River but the fish weren't there in great numbers. I landed four but only kept one big buck. I was using eggs under a float. The Homer Spit fishing hole was quite busy. But virtually all the salmon caught were hooked on the in-coming tide while using either cut herring or eggs under a float.
Overall, a fun trip and very enjoyable.